Hate veggies? Do you stay away from all things green?
This is a mistake. If you routinely shun salads, pass up the peas, and banish broccoli from your plate, you’ve denied your body fiber, folic acid, and antioxidants that help guard against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, memory loss, and stroke. Chances are good that you’ve filled your plate instead with extra potatoes, bread, or rice and , as a result, may have put on extra pounds and elevated your risk for a prediabetic condition called insulin resistance, too.
Finding vegetables that you like – or new ways to prepare and serve the ones you’ve been avoiding – can lower your blood pressure, decrease levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, smooth out your blood sugar, improve your digestion, and perhaps even lower your risk for lung cancer. Several well-designed studies show benefits in as little as four weeks. Every serving of veggies you add to your day cuts your heart disease by 4 percent (or more) and your stroke risk by 3 to 5 percent.
The benefits of adding vegetables to your diet are immeasurable, but some of the biggest ones include: Better digestion, strong bones, and a lower risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and some cancers. But that’s not all: You may end up with fewer wrinkles! That sounds great to me!
Here are to helpfully tips to help get in your daily dose of veggies:
Start with “nibble” vegetables. The easiest way to reintroduce yourself to vegetables is to munch on pleasant, crunchy raw choices like cucumbers, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Getting into that habit will make it easier to move on to cooked vegetables.
Have a salad at every lunch and dinner. It’s hard to not like crunchy lettuce with a tasty dressing. Start each meal with a salad, and you’ll not only greatly increase your vegetable intake but also lower your appetite for the rest of the meal.
Put more vegetables into your stews, soups and casseroles. Just like tips used to get children to eat their vegetables, sometime adults need the same strategies! There is no reason that your world-famous chili can’t be bolstered with diced carrots, celery, peppers, onions, and even green beans. Be creative!
Add a little fat. Ready to start preparing veggie side dishes? A dab of olive oil, a teaspoon of margarine, or a sprinkle of Parmesan brightens the flavor of cooked broccoli, spinach, green beans, squash, and other vegetables. Fat boosts absorption of nutrients, too.
Sip your veggies. Low-sodium tomato juice or vegetable juice counts as a vegetable serving too.
Double the lettuce and tomato on your sandwich. And use a dark green lettuce, such as romaine, or switch to baby spinach for an extra-nutritious punch.
Buy Pre-sliced. No time to chop? Pre-cut carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and more are waiting for you in the produce section of your supermarket. So is shredded cabbage. Take advantage – let someone else be your sous chef! Just microwave, steam or saute.
I personally am going to start trying to have a salad with every lunch and dinner. I think this sound like a great tip for me and one that I can implement right away! Good luck with your new adventure into vegetables!
We all love fast food don’t we? This is why there is a variety of options in every city practically on every corner. A Cheeseburger there, the best French fries over here... Ohhh the hot dogs and even the curly fries! Not to mention you can even get dessert, like a shake or a McFlurry to go with that!
A steady diet of double cheeseburgers and fries washed down with an over-sized soda or milkshake often leads to a bigger waistline and other health problems. When the University of Minnesota tracked 3,031 women and men for 15 years, they found that those who ate fast food twice a week compared to less than one a week gained 10 extra pounds and were twice as likely to have a pre-diabetic condition called insulin resistance.
What no one could see: Thanks to the type of fats used until recently in French Fries and deep-fried offerings at fast food restaurants, frequent diners may also have raised their heart attack risk by 25 to 100 percent. Trans fats raise “bad” LDL cholesterol, lower “good” HDLs, raise blood fats called triglycerides that contribute to the hardening of the arteries, and fire up inflammation – an immune-system response that’s involved in the build-up of fatty plaque in the artery walls. There’s also evidence that a steady fast-food diet packs more fat around your abdomen, raising your odds for heart disease and diabetes still higher. Eating fried chicken pieces and French fries on a regular basis could double your heart attack. Got you scared yet?
Okay, so what now? How can I stop this habit?
It will take permanent lifestyle changes that won’t be easy at first. Fast food is super-convenient, surprisingly inexpensive, and thanks to all its fat, salt, and sugar, undeniably tasty. Healthy eating takes more time and thought, and in some cases, more money. But the health benefits of making the switch will be immediate and substantial.
In addition to losing weight, slimming your waistline, and protecting yourself from heart disease and diabetes, you’ll save several dollars a day if you make your own meal instead of buying fast food.
Here are some tips to turn your fast food habit around:
Wean yourself off slowly. Most people cannot end a habit cold turkey, and that holds true for fast-food consumption. Cut back a little per week, and each time you go, buy a little less than you used to and start ordering healthier choices like fruit slices or yogurt parfaits.
Start off by cutting out the soda. Soda consumption really hurts your health. And fast-food restaurants love to serve up monster-size cups of soda. Switch to milk, coffee, or bottled water to save hundreds of unwanted calories.
Switch from burgers to chicken. In particular, switch to grilled chicken. These sandwiches are usually one of the healthiest choices on a fast-food menu. If going for a salad, choose the grilled chicken and get the salad dressing on the side and use just a tiny bit.
Switch from fries to salad. Those fries are cooked in pure fat, and are covered in salt. Fast-food salads may not have the crunch of a French fry, but they are more satisfying than you might realize, and they are considerably more healthy.
End the impulse visits. The worst health sin is to pot a drive-thru window, and impulsively turn in for a quickie hamburger, even if you aren’t all that hungry or it’s not mealtime. Put a firm halt to these kind of mad meals and noshes.
Switch to grocery stores. On the road and need a fast meal? Go to a grocery store and get some fruit, a cup of yogurt, a prepared salad, and maybe a six-pack of sushi. Every major grocery store chain has responded to the need for fast meals with lots of healthy choices. You likely can eat a greater volume of food and consume fewer calories.
Try local sandwich shops. Wherever you go, privately owned sandwich shops are there. Walk in, order a turkey on whole-wheat and a salad on the side, chat is up with the owner, and leave with a much healthier meal – and the good feeling of supporting an entrepreneur.
Make your own. You can eat with confidence in your own kitchen. How about leftover roast beef on a crusty roll, a handful of plump cherry tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and a fresh orange? Wash it down with unsweetened ice tea.
Get your health tested. Eating frequent fast-food restaurant meals is indicative of a generally unhealthy lifestyle. IF you want to switch to the healthy side, get to a doctor soon for a full battery of health screenings. Finding out the damage that has been done can be strong motivation for ending your fast-food restaurant visits. Likely your doctor will test your cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels, as well as other vitals.
I myself have been visiting too many fast food restaurants lately and I am going to work these tips into my life right now. How about you?
Some doctors rate the drinking of soda and other sweetened drinks as the worst diet habit of all. Sipping lots of sugary sodas as well as fruit drinks, sweetened iced teas, and other soft drinks is a setup for weight gain, diabetes, brittle bones and more.
A study done by the Harvard School of Public Health looked at diets and health of tens of thousands of women, and they found that those who drank at least one sweetened soft drink a day had twice the risk for type 2 diabetes as women who downed soft drinks less than once a month. The culprit? Extra calories.. and all that sugar. Downing a few hundred excess liquid calories a day seems to be responsible for a hefty weight gain: Women who drank soft drinks put on more than 10 pounds in just four years. On contrast, women who quenched their thirst with water, milk, and unsweetened or diet drinks gained far less weight the study found. In a study in Finland, people who drank the most sugary beverages had a 68 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
Think of soft drinks as liquid candy – a sneaky source of calories that does little to fill you up, but is certain to fill you out. In a Purdue University study, researchers found that when volunteers drank roughly three cans of soda a day – totaling 450 in calories – it didn’t have any impact on how much they ate at the meals. In contrast, when they munched jelly beans, they automatically ate less throughout the day.
Soft drinks can also weaken your bones – most likely because the more sweet sips you take, the less likely you are to also be drinking bone-protection, calcium-rich milk. In one Tufts University study, women who had more than three cola drinks a day had 4 percent lower bone mineral density at the hip. Experts suspect that phosphoric acid in colas interferes with natural bone-building in the body, even if you’re getting plenty of calcium.
You can fix the damage you have already caused by drinking too many sugary sodas, but quitting may be harder than you think. We have programmed our taste buds to crave sweetness, and so weaning ourselves off sugar can be difficult. Like any habit, it takes persistence to truly break it forever.
Cutting back on soda will result in lower, steadier blood sugar levels, which means a lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Eliminating the 150 calories for each soda from your diet will help you lose weight or maintain your weight. And since soda can etch the surface of teeth, you’ll have stronger tooth enamel for better dental health.
Here are some tips to help you break the sugary soda drinking cycle:
Quench thirst with Water. Treat soda and sweetened fruit drinks strictly as snacks. For thirst, drink water.
Carry water with you. Start the day with a large bottle of cold water, and constantly replenish it as the day goes on. You’ll find that it is a very effective way to cut back on sugary drinks.
Think through your daily beverage intake. After water, daily drinks that are good for your health include coffee, tea, milk, natural unsweetened fruit juices, and even wine. Spread those out through the day, and diminish the need for sodas.
Discover the art of Iced Teas. Brew your own fruity, herbal iced tea the easy way – drop four tea bags in a quart of filtered water, refrigerate overnight. Give it extra zing with a spritz of lemon juice and enjoy as much as you wish as a replacement for water.
Bypass diet versions of sodas and sweetened juices. Diet sodas are a way to wean yourself off of a soda habit, but they should be a temporary solution, not a permanent one. There’s new evidence that having more than one a day raises your risk for metabolic syndrome, a prediabetic condition that also threatens hour heart.
Sweeten your milk. Indulge in a cup of cocoa every day. Add a tablespoon of pure cocoa and a teaspoon of sugar to a cup of skim milk, heat and enjoy. One teaspoon of sugar is a fraction of the sugar in most sodas.
Make a rule: Just water at restaurants. Save calories – and money – by skipping sodas at restaurants. This is particularly true at fast food restaurants: Get a bottle of water, not soda, with your combo meal.
Particularly avoid caffeinated cola. Colas containing caffeine were associated with lower bone mineral density than decaf versions in one study. One alternative: Home brewed iced tea, made with black tea for a little caffeinated pick me up.
All of these are some very good tips for kicking your sugary soda habit. Another alternative to just plain water that I particularly like is the new bottles that infuse fruit into your water. You just cut up some fruit of your choice and place it in the main chamber and fill with water. Put it in the refrigerator all night and by morning you have some deliciously flavored water.. naturally!
Did you know that losing and gaining the same 10 to 20 pounds, over and over is bad for your health? This yo-yo dieting or weight cycling can alter your body composition in frustrating and even dangerous ways. Repeated weight gain and loss lowers the amount of muscle mass you have. This raises your body-fat percentage, lowers your body’s on going calorie burn, and reduces your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. All this is a setup for more weight gain and related health problems.
Muscle mass declines naturally with age; moving into your later years with a deficit due to weight cycling can leave you even weaker and more prone to balance problems. And if the extra body fat you’ve gained has settled around your mid-section, you’ll be at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes. Meanwhile, other researchers have found that yo-yo dieters have lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
If you’ve followed fad weight-loss plans- from the grapefruit diet to the low-carb craze to the low-fat craze- you may also have skimped on important nutrients like calcium or protein or the cornucopia of vitamins and antioxidants in fruit, veggies and whole grains.
Switching to a consistently healthy diet will end the yo-yo weight effect and adding strength training to your routine will rebuild muscle mass and get your metabolism back to where it belongs. The good news? All this can be achieved in a few months.
The obvious benefit is a sleeker, stronger, more energetic body – thanks to strength training, exercising will also improve your balance and prevent falls. Better nutrition will aid in lowering your risk for heart disease, diabetes and dying prematurely.
Here are some tips to turn this habit around:
Give up fad diets. It’s time to convince yourself once and for all that formal diets don’t work. Science shows over and over that short-term regimens or gimmicks to lose pounds fast aren’t healthy or sustainable. Eat healthy foods in healthy portions, and you’ll naturally get to a stable weight for your body. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for your age and body type.
Give up your feast-or-famine eating style. Instead, plan to have three normal size meals a day and three small snacks, too. Never allow yourself to get very hungry.
Focus on portion control. Most fad diets are built on demonizing certain foods or overstating the importance of others. But at the end of the day, only one thing matters for weight – whether you are eating too many calories. So rather than focusing on how much is on your plate. Portion control is the best method of all for losing weight. Learn to eat a little less at your meals, and the pounds will slowly but permanently disappear.
Rebuild lost muscle. Muscle is crucial to long life living and if yo-yo dieting has weakened you, you have an obligation to yourself to regain strength. Do something to challenge your muscles each and every day.
In summary, instead of a "diet" lifestyle we need to change our way of thinking to a "healthy" lifestyle. If we focus on eating healthy, rather than the latest diet crazes, and loosing that 5 or 10 pounds, just focus on eating healthier, by making better food choices, and your weight should take care of itself.
Missing breakfast can have serious consequences for your weight, your energy levels and even your blood sugar.
Breakfast skippers tend to weigh more than people who eat breakfast, studies show. Skipping the first meal of the day leaves your metabolism in “sleep mode” – a thrifty state intended by nature to get your body through the 12 hours or more between dinner and the break of day. Munching a piece of morning toast or crunching a bowl of bran flakes signals to your metabolism that it’s time to kick things up a notch by burning more calories. Skipping the fuel keeps your metabolism on low, which can lead to weight gain and feeling sluggish.
You’ve also created a starve-now-indulge later eating pattern. Breakfast skippers tend to overeat later in the day.
Breakfast avoiders may also be at greater risk for diabetes – perhaps because they tend to eat fewer whole grains, produce and dairy products.
Starting a breakfast routine is easy. And the moment you do, you take major steps towards fixing the problems it has caused skipping breakfast in the past, including excess weight and unhealthy blood sugar swings.
Eating breakfast will result in more stable blood sugar. This means fewer food cravings and hunger pangs later in the day. Because you are re-fueling your body early on in the day, you’ll have more energy in the morning, and you may find that you start to control your weight easier also.
Here are some tips to help you stop your breakfast skipping habit:
Work with your body. Not hungry first thing in the morning? Wait an hour or two and then have a piece of toast with peanut butter, a bowl of cereal, or some fruit, a hard-boiled egg, and a glass of milk.
Eat foods you like. Breakfast foods are a marketer’s creation, nothing more. There’s no rule that says you have to start the day with them. Have a sandwich, a bowl of soup, or last night’s leftovers, if that is your pleasure.
No time? Make a portable breakfast sandwich. One great combination is peanut butter and banana on whole wheat. Any kind of protein between two pieces of whole grain bread would work. Bring along a piece of fruit and you’re set. If you like milk, add a cup of skim milk, poured into a take along coffee mug with a lid.
Grab an energy bar and a cup of yogurt. Together they are the perfect amount of nutrients and calories to start your day. And both are instantly ready for eating. Here is a great Energy bar if you are looking for one.
Have a smoothie. For the ultimate on-the-go breakfast, whirl together frozen fruit with coconut water and you are set to go. Want something even faster? Try www.dailyharvest.com. They will send you prepared frozen fruit & veggie cups where you just add your liquid, blend, and you are set to go! I have been using them now for a month and I love them! It makes my mornings go so much faster and I am getting my breakfast in. I tried making morning smoothies on my own at first but I failed miserably. I had all this extra fruit that just went bad and just getting everything at the store was so time consuming. Check it out!
Set things up in advance. Get breakfast ready the night before, so that you can eat at the kitchen table in 10 minutes or less. Pour cereal into bowls, set up silverware and cups, set up the coffeepot, and wash, chop, and refrigerate fruit.
So I hope this gives you some useful tips for starting your day and body right and I suggest you check out Daily Harvest today for a great ready for you breakfast.
Do you find yourself having a little “treat” everyday? A donut in the morning and maybe a little ice cream in the afternoon? A birthday at work and you just have 1 piece of cake?
In the early 1800s, we ate about 15 pounds of sugar per year. But by the turn of the 21st century, sugar consumption for people with moderate diets reached nearly 160 pounds of sugar every year – with serious consequences for health and weight. A steady diet of sugar, fat, and refined carbohydrates mean that you’re eating far more empty calories than you should, yet getting less of the high-fiber, high-nutrition foods like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains that your body needs. It also puts your blood sugar on a roller coaster, swinging between dizzying highs of energy and draining lows and Leaving you with intense cravings for even more sugar.
The combination of high calories, low fiber, and very little vitamins, minerals and protective antioxidants work together to raise your odds for heart disease, stroke, a pre-diabetic condition called insulin resistance, Alzheimer’s disease, some cancers, and even sexual problems. In one Dutch study of 16,000 women, those who ate the most sweets and refined carbohydrates had an 80 percent higher risk for heart disease than those who ate the least.
The first step to turn this around? Say “No thank you” to cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and candy which will reduce sugar cravings and improve energy levels in a matter of days. You will all reap the benefit of better moods – no more irritability caused by blood sugar fluctuations. You’ll manage to attain a healthier weight and lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other blood sugar-related problems.
Here are some tips to stay away from the temptation.
Make Healthy Substitutions. Rather than swearing off sweet treats, start by choosing some healthy alternatives. Fruit is a terrific choice, particularly watermelon, peaches, and berries. All are sweet and satisfying. Instead of ice cream, have no-fat frozen yogurt or fruit ices. Instead of cake, have a cookie and fruit.
Splurge weekly, rather than daily. Allow yourself a moderately sinful dessert once a week. That way, you don’t have to feel deprived.
Ask yourself why you’re treating yourself so often. So much of snacking is out of habit, boredom or stress. The best rule of all is to find healthier ways to fulfill emotional needs than through food. Take a walk, call a friend, do a stretch, read a joke. Limit your food intake to satisfying hunger.
Start a new after-meal routine. Go for a walk instead of having dessert. Or if you still want a family dessert ritual, schedule if for 60 minutes after the main meal, when the kitchen has been cleaned up and everyone has done something active. Then choosing something healthy, like watermelon or cantaloupe slices.
Make your kitchen a sugar-free safety zone. Don’t keep treats, or even sweet baking ingredients, such as chocolate chips, in the house. Instead, go out for an occasional dessert.
Don’t rely heavily on artificial sweeteners. It’s far better to retrain your taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness of fruit than to maintain your unnatural cravings for refined sugar.
Follow these tips above and you may have a chance at kicking your sugar habit once and for all!
Still having problems kicking your sugar habits? You may want to try the 21 day sugar detox.
Money worries can have serious health consequences. In a Rutgers University telephone survey of 3,121 women and men, half admitted to having stress about money, 23 percent said their anxiety was severe, and 12 percent called it over-whelming. The damage? Survey-takers said financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive smoking and drinking, and gaining or losing weight.
In an Ohio State University study of 1,036 people, those with a higher proportion of their income tied up in credit card debt also had more health problems than those living with lower debt-to-income ratio. “Any one of us who has debt knows that it can cause stress in our lives, and it makes sense that this stress may be bad for our health.” Notes lead researcher Paul J. Lavrakas, PhD.
Can you stop debt from shortening your life? Yes, but let’s be honest. It is not easy. Getting yourself out of debt is a close equal to losing large amounts of weight. It takes time, the process can be hard on your ego and your lifestyle, you must be constantly vigilant, and it is easy to revert back to old habits. But for those who succeed – and many people do – the results are stunning. By eliminating debt you are going to feel more in control of your life with less stress and fewer worries. You’ll be able to sleep better, stop overeating, and have fewer headaches. Finding way to curb your spending and focus on the simple joys in life will help improve your relationships
Here are some tips to work on to become debt free.
Learn about money management. You can’t master your money if you don’t understand the rules and methods of personal finance. Find a book, magazine, or web site that speaks to your level of understanding and learn all you can about credit cards, mortgages, electronic banking, budgeting and investing.
Put your credit cards on ice. Literally. Put them in a cup, add water, and place it in the back of the freezer so you can’t use them. It’s just one clever way to get you to immediately stop increasing your debt. To use it you will need to thaw out the cup of ice and hopefully by that time the impulse of buying something you do not need will have past.
Create a budget. How much money is coming in each month? How much are you spending on essentials, and how much are you spending on frivolous purchases and entertainment? An hour of honest assessment of your spending habits can go a long way toward showing you a better path. A great plan to follow is called the Zero Based budget. The point of zero-based budget is to make income minus the outgo equal zero. If you cover all your expenses during the month and have $500 left over, you aren’t done with the budget yet. You must tell that $500 where to go. If you don’t, you lose the chance to make it work for you in the areas of getting out of debt, saving for an emergency, investing, paying off the house or growing wealth. Tell EVERY dollar where to go. Here is a great resource you can use at www.everydollar.com. Best of all, It’s Free!
Pay at least the minimum amount due each month on all of your bills. And pay more than the minimum payment on your highest-interest credit card. After you’ve paid off your highest-interest card, move to the next.
Automate good money habits. Today you can have paychecks deposited directly into your bank accounts and have small amounts automatically diverted to savings accounts. You can have bills paid automatically from your accounts also. The more you can use technology to improve your money management, the better.
Change money priorities. Banish shopping as a form of entertainment. Instead, go for a walk, take up a hobby, meet with friends, or try a craft project. Identify the things you want to spend on in the future- vacations, a retirement home, a new car – and start savings programs for each.
Once again, I urge you to try out the free budgeting tools offered at www.everydollar.com They help you first work out a Zero Based budget and then help you work towards building an emergency fund, reserve funds and even saving for retirement. Managing money is hard! Try and use the technology available to you to make it at least just a little bit easier.
Are you a workaholic?
Nonstop thinking about your job. Never-ending work e-mails and phone calls, at all times of the day and night. Repeatedly prioritizing work over family, friends, and personal pleasures. Workaholics are people who are out of balance with life. And that imbalance is unhealthy – many workaholics are at risk for stress-related high blood pressure, heart disease, overweight, and type 2 diabetes.
A workaholic’s biggest health threats: Stress and self-neglect. In one British study of small business owners, those who worked the longest hours were the most likely to cancel doctors’ appointments or to wait and “store up” illnesses so that they wouldn’t have to take as much time off to see the doctor. And thanks to fatigue and over-scheduling, one in five never exercised. If you feel chained to your desk, you’re probably not eating well, either.
You’re also missing out on the joys of life – and the experiences and relationships that can sustain our health and happiness in the years ahead. In one study of 1,000 women, researchers found that those who were married to workaholic men were more likely to divorce and had fewer happy feelings about their relationship.
Can you stop being a workaholic? Yes you can. It takes just one thing: Convincing yourself to do it. Half the battle is in your mind. As with any habit or addiction, once you truly commit to pull back and regain the balance you once had, changing is a simple, step-by-step process, with measurable benchmarks and outcomes.
Here are some tips to changing your workaholic ways.
Set a quitting time- and stick to it. That means telling all the people you work with that between certain hours, you are not going to be available, and enforcing that by not answering the phone or responding to emails.
Make healthy eating and exercise a priority. Put them on your calendar and keep these “health appointments” with yourself as religiously as if they were meetings with important clients.
Fill your free time in ways you enjoy. If you cut back on work only to sit in front of the television, you will go back to working. Instead, commit to social activities, family time, cooking, or a home project. Fill you time in a way that is more fun than work, and you will help end your work addiction.
De-stress before, during, and after work. A few minutes of stretching, deep breathing, or yoga helps release tension and keep priorities straight. Tend to your mental health a little better, and you’ll quickly see the world in a new way.
Turn off the electronics. The combination of wireless communications technology and worldwide corporations mean that you can instantly plus into work at any time, at any place. Fight this urge! When you are not working, turn off your cell phone, your laptop, your blackberry device, and any other electronics that link you to your work world.
Hopefully you find some of these tips useful and you can start today to live a healthy and more balanced life!
For most of us coffee drinking will have no ill-effects – in fact surprising research suggests that coffee-drinkers have a 30 to 60 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. But if you are extra-sensitive to caffeine, drink several cups per day of supercharged espresso or cappuccino, or have cut nutritional corners elsewhere in your diet, a highly caffeinated lifestyle could pose some health problems. Downing more than four cups of regular coffee (or as few as two espressos or other high-caffeine javas) can cause anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness. Experts say that once your body is used to caffeine, it probably doesn’t affect blood pressure, but some research suggest that in the short term the amount of caffeine in two to three cups of coffee can raise systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 3 to 14 points and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 4 to 13 points.
Think you are drinking too much coffee and you want to cut back? Here are some tips for you:
Skip caffeinated coffees, teas, and soft drinks after noon. If you drink caffeinated drinks for their energizing effects, drink them in the morning and leave it at that. Caffeine lingers in your system for three to seven hours. A cup after lunch could create sleep problems at bedtime.
Avoid caffeinated drinks for a few days before your next blood pressure check. If you numbers drop after cutting caffeine, consider switching permanently to decaffeinated versions of your favorite drink.
Get plenty of calcium. If you love coffee but hate dairy products, take care of your bones by taking enough calcium supplements to get 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Also schedule a bone-density test. Studies show that coffee-loving women who also got less than 740 milligrams of calcium a day (the amount of two glasses of skim milk and a half-slice of American cheese) lost bone density faster than women who drank less coffee – or got more calcium. If that’s you, make up for lost time by increasing your calcium intake and getting a bone-density scan to see if you need help bolstering your bones.
Switch to decaf slowly. If caffeine is jangling your nerves, but you love the taste, buy a bag of decaffeinated coffee and one of your favorite caffeinated blends. Mix a little decaf into your morning brew. Over the course of a month, add more and more decaf and less and less caffeinated. Your taste buds will adjust, and you’ll feel less anxious without all that caffeine.
The take away here? Coffee has many benefits, in moderation. So my advice for living a longer life is to watch how much you consume everyday. One or two cups of coffee will give you many benefits, but if you are downing a lot more each day you may want to check out the tips above and also cut back on some of your coffee drinking.
Do you have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer or two after work with friends, or do you find yourself drinking two or three glasses of wine and more bottles of beer than you can count?
Alcohol can be a tonic – or toxic. If you’ve enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner throughout the years or the occasional cocktail at a party or beer after work with friends, you’re a moderate drinker. For you, alcohol delivers benefits: In more than 100 studies, moderate drinkers enjoyed a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in heart attacks, ischemic (clot-caused) strokes, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death and death from all cardiovascular causes. Why? Alcohol in moderate amounts raises levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and discourages the formation of small blood clots that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It may even protect you against type 2 diabetes and painful gallstones.
But if you drink to excess on a regular basis alcohol can be a poison. Women who regularly consume two or more drinks a day and men who regularly down three or more are at higher risk for liver damage; pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers including those of the liver, mouth, throat, Larynx, and esophagus; High blood pressure; and depression. Women, who are more sensitive to alcohol’s inebriating effects and its long-term health effects, may develop heart disease, brittle bones, an even memory loss. Just two drinks per day can, over time, raise your odds for breast cancer. In a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, women who followed a two drink a day routine for 20 years and were still drinking still had a three times higher risk for hormonally sensitive breast cancers than nondrinkers.
Several studies have found a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who consume a lot of alcohol or who have been longtime drinkers. Too much alcohol can pack your liver with fat and can lead to a reversible liver problem called alcoholic hepatitis or to irreversible scarring called cirrhosis. The list continues: If you’ve been drinking to excess for years, you may need screen and treatment for thinning bones or an enlarged heart. Alcohol can also age your brain, making memory and thinking problems worse.
By cutting back now can you reverse the damage already done? For the most part. Soon after you cut back or quit, your digestion will improve your stomach won’t have to cope with the irritation of caused by the alcohol and the excess stomach acids it triggers. You’ll sleep more soundly. Your blood sugar will be lower and steadier. Your blood pressure may fail towards a healthier range. Even you brain will bounce back if you cut back or stop drinking. In a study by the University of California, San Francisco, researchers found that alcoholics who stayed sober for nearly seven years performed as well as non-alcoholics on brain function tests. Even if you have liver damage, cutting back on alcohol and eating a healthier diet could help your liver regenerate itself to some degree.
Here are some tips to follow for cutting back on excess drinking;
Stick with healthy limits. That’s two or less alcoholic drinks per day for men, and one for women. Health dangers begin to rise for people who drink more than that.
Reserve Alcohol for meals. You’re more likely to slowly sip a beer or nice glass of wine if you’re enjoying it along with a good meal. At parties or before you eat, stick with iced tea, water or sparkling water with a splash of lemon or lime.
Drink for flavor, not to get drunk. For a teenager, feeling drunk might seem novel and cool. As a mature adult, there is no sound reason ever to get drunk. If you discover that you are drinking for the effects of the alcohol – be they to escape a bad day, give you courage in a new situations, or merely to be “one of the gang’ – Stop immediately. Work hard to find a healthier coping mechanism.
If you can’t stop, acknowledge the addiction. If you can’t stick with a healthy drink limit, if you drink secretly, or if you need more alcohol to get the same “drunken” effects, it’s time to get help. You may have an alcohol-use disorder. Talk with your doctor and contact a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous for the support you’ll need to make a healthy change.
Take health screenings for bone density and cancers seriously. Drinkers should talk with their doctors about whether they need more frequent screenings for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, breast and colon.
Already have liver damage? Get a liver-health plan. Your doctor should discuss a high-calorie diet to help your liver regenerate. You may also need medications for related health problems including high blood pressure, bleeding blood vessels, fluid retention and itching.
So enjoy that one glass of wine with dinner on occasion. There are notable health benefits. Can't stop after one? You may want to follow the provided tips.
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